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The Daily TIP: Anti-Semitic Acts Rose Dramatically in France During 2018; Up 74% Over 2017

Posted by Tip Staff - February 12, 2019

Anti-Semitic Acts Rose Dramatically in France During 2018; Up 74% Over 2017
Legal Scholar: Anti-Israel Ideology Pushes ACLU to Undercut Anti-Discrimination Norms It Had Established
Labour Party's Leadership Again Facing Charges it Covered up Anti-Semitism
"Most Promising" Israeli Startup Develops Portable, Wearable Gym

Anti-Semitic Acts Rose Dramatically in France During 2018; Up 74% Over 2017

The French Interior Ministry announced on Monday that the number of anti-Semitic acts in the country soared in 2018, jumping a whopping 74% compared to the previous year, France24 News reported.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner decried the “poison” of hate that is seeping into French society as he revealed that the total number of recorded anti-Semitic acts, which rose from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018.

Castaner spoke in the Paris suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-du-Bois, where a tree in memory of a young Jewish man who was brutally murdered in 2006 had been chopped down. Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish. After his family was unable to pay the 450,000 Euro ransom, Halimi was burned and tortured to death, after a three-week long ordeal.

"I needed to say, in the name of the government, in the name of the president, in name of France, that tonight, we grieve the memory of Ilan Halimi,” Castaner said. “Like we grieved him 14 years ago. France, through my presence here tonight in the name of the government and in name of the Republic, wants to say to every single person who makes a religious choice, in this country, that they must be and will be protected."

Frédéric Potier, the French government official in charge of fighting hate crimes, said on Twitter that he had alerted police and the prosecutor’s office in Paris. “Anti-Semitic tags in the heart of Paris this weekend, to the point of nausea. When the hatred of Jews overlaps with the hatred of democracy, the vocabulary of the #fascosphere [the sphere of the fascists] is found on the walls!” he wrote.

Last week, Community Security Trust released a survey showing that anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom reached a record-high in 2018.

Read more at The Tower.

Legal Scholar: Anti-Israel Ideology Pushes ACLU to Undercut Anti-Discrimination Norms It Had Established

The ACLU, one of the premier civil rights advocacy groups in the United States, has allowed anti-Israel ideology to push it to "undermine the antidiscrimination norms it has worked for decades to achieve," Eugene Kontorovich wrote in an op-ed published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

Kontorovich, an expert in international law, is a professor at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia School of Law and a director of the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum.

Historically, Kontorovich observed, the ACLU has maintained "that although private parties have the right to refuse to do business with people for ideological reasons, the government need not fund such conduct." Yet the ACLU has been at the forefront of opposing such laws when the laws bar states from doing business with firms and individuals who boycott Israel.

Most recently, the ACLU has targeted the Combatting BDS Act, which passed the Senate last week with a 77 to 23 majority and supports states that have laws prohibiting contracts with businesses that boycott Israel. The main point of the Senate law is to confirm that states that have enacted laws opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign do not violate U.S. foreign policy.

At the heart of the ACLU's opposition to anti-BDS laws is the premise that actions guided by political motives are a form of protected speech.

Kontrovich pointed out that in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, the Supreme Court held unanimously that the government can "deny federal funding to universities that boycott military recruiters." This was allowed, demonstrating that the politically motivated boycott was not, in fact, a form of protected speech.

The irony in the ACLU's opposition to anti-BDS laws is that Kontorovich, who helped develop the state anti-BDS laws, used the ACLU's past standards to ensure that the laws would pass Constitutional muster.

In the end, "the ACLU’s enthusiasm for Israel boycotts has led it to take legal positions that threaten to undermine the antidiscrimination norms it has worked for decades to achieve," Kontorovich wrote.

Read more at The Tower.

Labour Party's Leadership Again Facing Charges it Covered up Anti-Semitism

The British Labour Party is facing fresh accusations of covering up anti-Semitism after the party revealed it had received 673 allegations of anti-Jewish hate by its members during the past 10 months, leading to only 12 individuals being expelled, The BBC reported on Monday.

The party’s General Secretary, Jennie Formby, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, revealed the figures after she was pushed by MPs to detail how the organization was processing accusations of anti-Semitic acts.

Of the 673 complaints between April 2018 and January 2019, some 211 resulted in a suspension. However, only 12 cases saw members immediately expelled.

Labour MPs said last week that they believe the General Secretary is using her influence to shield members accused of anti-Semitic behavior from being investigated by the party. At a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) on February 5, MPs unanimously passed a motion urging the National Executive Committee (NEC), headed by Formby, to do more to tackle anti-Semitism.

Veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodges reacted to the news, saying on Twitter: “I alone put in over 200 examples - some vile - where evidence suggested they came from Labour. So don't trust figures. Can't believe only 12 expulsions. Not convinced leadership serious on rooting out anti-Semitism.” In July 2018, the MP called Corbyn “an anti-Semite and a racist” to his face.

Labour came under fire from within its own ranks over the weekend, when former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waded into the debate and blasted the party’s leadership for saying that it was impossible to fully "eradicate" anti-Semitism from the organization.

"How can we say it's tolerable to have a certain level of anti-Semitism?” Blair asked. "Can you imagine when I was leader of the Labour Party, having a conversation with me about whether anti-Semitism is in the Labour Party or not? We wouldn't even have that conversation."

Read more at The Tower.

"Most Promising" Israeli Startup Develops Portable, Wearable Gym

Getting serious about getting into shape? You could invest in a gym membership or a basement full of workout equipment, but it’s hard to stay with the program unless you have sufficient time, access, motivation and feedback.

Two ambitious young Israelis set out to solve that problem with a product called the Hyfit Wearable Gym, a portable smart workout ecosystem incorporating IoT technologies.

It’s the first in a line of connected fitness products that cofounders Guy Bar and Dan Strik declare will never collect dust in your basement.

The Bluetooth-compatible suspension training system, which looks a little like a TRX suspension trainer, builds full-body strength and core stability using a system of ropes and webbing that works against gravity and one’s own body weight. There are 250 possible exercises that can be performed with the Wearable Gym, which is constructed of waterproof materials and comes with a wireless charger.

Embedded sensors send live motivational feedback – to you and, if you have one, your trainer — about your workout results such as repetitions accomplished, resistance used and calories burned. A companion app uses that data to plan your next routine so you won’t get stuck in a boring rut.

Though the patented Wearable Gym is still in pre-order phase, with the first batch expected to ship in March, Bar and Strik have raised about $880,000 and aim to be no less than the next Apple of fitness.

Segev says the Hyfit team is full of ambitions for revolutionizing your workout.

“We had a successful campaign on Kickstarter for our first product, the Wearable Gym, in April to May 2018. We had $120,000 in pre-order sales from the first month only. Forbes named us one of the most promising startups in the world,” he tells ISRAEL21c.

(via Israel21c)

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